Newseum opens new installation about Capital Gazette shooting

The Newseum in Washington D.C. has a new installation about the attack that killed five staff members at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis in June.

“Behind the News: A Deadly Attack on a Community Newspaper,” looks at the risks journalists face in an increasingly hostile climate for the press.

The exhibit focuses on how the staff of the Capital Gazette, part of the Baltimore Sun Media Group, put out a newspaper the day after the mass shooting.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m., on Thursday, June 28, a man holding a shotgun burst into the newspaper offices and shot dead five staff, according to Anne Arundel County Police. Former employees said he had threatened and harassed newsroom staff for years. Much of the harassment came from social media.

There were 11 people in the office at the time. Five — Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters, Gerald Fischman, John McNamara and Rebecca Smith — were killed. The survivors and those not in the office at the time helped turn around the paper for publication the next day.

“I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper,” wrote Chase Cook, a reporter at the newspaper, on Twitter that afternoon.

Cook, who was not in the office at the time, went across the street to a mall garage with colleagues and worked to report the story of the massacre of their friends and co-workers.

“We’re seeing increase in violent behavior to journalists, and this is an example of that,” said Patty Rhule, vice president of exhibits at the Newseum.

“This is an important story to explain to people what is happening and why it is important to support local news.”

The installation is part of a “Digital Disruption” exhibit that looks at how the news industry has been transformed by the internet and digital innovation.

It can be found in the News Corporation News History Gallery.

The installation will be open through at least the end of the year.

crentz@baltsun.com

twitter.com/cdrentz

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